Shopping For Digital Video Camcorders

image_thumb44 Shopping For Digital Video CamcordersI have an older digital video recorder that’s a few years old. But it’s been a serious work horse and still offers feature and functions most digital video recorders aren’t offering.

It’s small and portable, and simple to use. I love it. And when I bought mine it was $150. It’s an AIPTEK HD 720p camcorder, with 8mp stills, records a/v inputs, plays MP3’s, records wav files and has hook UPS for going to a HDMI digital TV. And the screen spin all the way around; for being vain.

It’s got an internal memory of 16mb [very little], but it’s expandable to 32gb.

The reason I’m writing about this video recorder is that I’m getting the itch for a new one, but the new ones aren’t flattering me.

Their designs are all incorrect, the grip is awkward and the over all appearance of some of them this appears a glorified brick with a lens.

These are my random thoughts…

I prefer to have the camera in my hand like a piston grip as opposed to having to hold a brick in my hand and it being uncomfortable.

For instance, I was giving attention to this Flip Video Camcorder.

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It’s name obviously derived from the ‘flip’ out USB post on the camera, but I believe that’s stupid.

I have looked at these in the stores [Wal-mart, Best Buy, Target, etc.] and just haven’t been drawn to them. Their design is apparently for being rugged and compact, but the real application and use of the item; just seems bad.

I was checking out Newegg for camcorders.


And all of the camcorders are all shaped like a square. They all have that same basic design of a brick. It’s almost like the entire industry said hey, cell phone body designs seem to be popular, let’s go that way – and now everyone is making them that way. But they don’t fit in the hand comfortably, they’re not ergonomic and they’ve done away with the easy view screens. Just bad decisions.

from the link, and the time of this post, Sanyo and Aluratek was the only ones with a camcorder with a pistol like grip. But also the flip around screen, for those awkward shots… You know what I mean…

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But I also don’t hate the palm grip cameras…

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Another thing I’m searching for is the specifications.

I believe everyone would be searching for a high MP for picture taking; ironically some of the cameras are only sporting a 2mp still [wtf?] – seriously? That’s like 10 years ago!

And just about all, with the exception of one camcorder [not even sure it was a true video recorder] used MP4 as the default video recording format.

What’s fascinating about this video thing is, Microsoft doesn’t support these file natively, you’ve to have a codec to make that work. So MP4, MOV, h.264 is the standard video format in all these device and Microsoft doesn’t support it, so this means work for me on the backend automatically, if you’re not me, I found a solution.

And the spec have improved since I purchased my last video camcorder, the options I have with mine still stand very well.

I’d like options for high res stills, a good optical zoom 3-10x zoom, memory expansion, the flip screen and lastly a good battery life.

Nowadays it’s not really that hard to upload videos to the web and with programs like Windows Live Movie Maker [free from Microsoft] people can establish their on videos and DVDs for archival and sharing.

The price of the items aren’t bad either. 90% of all the camcorders I was giving attention to were all under $170- that’s good.

It’d be nice to have a burst mode as well- for those tricky shots. Just being able to capture 5-10 shots in a row, really quick to get that special shot.

And here’s the kicker, with everything and everyone doing 3D, AIPTEK is now offering a 3D Camcorder for under $200. It’s shaped like a brick [again] but it’s 3D… Who else is doing that? And it’s it worth it for me right now?

     No.  I have no interest in being another James Cameron. – not now.

Ultimately, I would like a lot of features, but not over $200. It needs to be simple, to the point, comfortable and do the job good.

I believe I made a good choice once before and I also think if can hold out and shop carefully, I can get a good deal.

And my advice to camcorder manufacturers, not everything has to look like a brick or be shaped like a cell phone.


Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr. 

…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Pro.

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